Preparation of final examinations instruction

Instruction statement

This instruction applies to all courses delivered by, or on behalf of RMIT which have a final end of teaching period examination.

Exclusions

The research component of higher degrees by research programs.

Instruction steps and actions

Process Step/Action

Responsibility

Time Frame

1 Responsibility for development of final examination papers and marking schemes for a course

1.1 Examination development and coordination

1.1.1 The course coordinator is responsible for ensuring that the final end of teaching period examination paper and marking scheme are developed and made available in accordance with this instruction and the Assessment policy and its procedures.

1.1.2 Development of the examination paper must be carried out in liaison with the course management team.

1.1.3 Where a course is delivered in more than one location (including campuses and partnerships outside Australia) consultation will occur with those responsible for delivery and assessment at each location to:

a) invite input into the development, moderation and proofing of the examination and marking scheme; and

b) coordinate the timetabling for preparation of the examination and marking scheme, and the delivery, marking and moderation of the examination.

Course coordinator






Course coordinator in consultation with the offering course coordinator

Normally no later than the expiry of 50% of the teaching period

2 Preparation of a back-up examination paper

2.1 Two examination papers must be available for each course, one of which is for use where a deferred exam sitting becomes required either via special consideration or where a breach in the integrity of the first assessment occurs, necessitating a further sitting.

2.2 Wherever possible (but always in the case where there are more than two standard teaching periods in the calendar year) the second examination paper should be prepared at the same time as the original examination. However, where there are two standard teaching periods in the calendar year and a second paper is not prepared at the same time as the original, the course coordinator must ensure that appropriate staff are available to prepare a timely second paper, where it is required.

2.3 In the case where the additional exam paper is not used, it may form the basis of the paper for the following teaching period offering of the course, where appropriate.

Course coordinator / offering course coordinator

Normally no later than the expiry of 50% of the teaching period (see section 2.2)

3 Examination timetabling arrangements

3.1 The course coordinator will ensure that time frames are identified for the end-to-end processes for examination development, finalisation, approval, and inclusion in the University examination timetables.

3.2 This information will be communicated to Manager of the Exams, Awards and Graduations Unit (to enable timetabling and creation of the exam Online Header and Coversheet generator) and the appropriate School/College office (as directed by the respective School/College responsible for the course/s).

3.3 Where the examination timetable is not managed by the Academic Registrars Group, Melbourne (for example, school-run examinations and those conducted at campuses and partnerships outside Australia), the delegated office responsible for timetabling will implement local procedures that meet the same standards of probity and integrity as those of the Exams, Awards and Graduations Unit.

Course coordinator / offering course coordinator



Exams, Awards and Graduations Unit



Academic Registrar’s Group, or the delegated office responsible for timetabling and coordination of examinations

4 Integrity of examination handling processes

4.1 Only University-approved secure file transfer processes will be utilised to maintain integrity of end-to-end examination development and delivery. Drafts must not be exchanged via email, hard copy, USB, or similar. At the local academic level staff may share drafts of the paper via GoogleDocs.

Course coordinator / delegate / school manager (DSC & SEH Colleges) / Registrar’s Office (RMIT Vietnam)

5 Review of exam papers

5.1 The course coordinator will ensure that one or more exam reviewers are appointed who will be responsible for checking the content coverage, technical accuracy and academic validity of the examination questions and the marking scheme.

5.2 To maximise the scope for review, wherever possible, the reviewer should not have been involved in the original preparation of the examination paper.

5.3 The exam reviewers must have expertise in the discipline area and will ensure the papers meet each of the following criteria:

a) Appropriate coverage of course content

b) Compliance with description of exam in course guide

c) Weighting of marks appropriate to topics covered in course

d) Appropriate time allocation

e) Set at a standard consistent with the level of the course

f) Sufficiently challenging

g) Of appropriate length

h) Internationalised / contextualised

i) Cultural and gender acceptability

j) Technical accuracy

k) Instructions are clear and unambiguous

l) Special items (e.g. tables, figures, appendices) are specified, attached and labelled

m) Marks are consistent with any relevant instructions.

5.4 The examination reviewer discusses any proposed amendments to the exam paper with the course coordinator (or that person’s delegate) who will decide the matter.

5.5 When the review process is complete the examination paper is made available (via the secure file transfer system) to the proof reader.

Course coordinator offering course / delegate






Exam reviewer

Normally no later than the expiry of 50% of the teaching period

6 Proof reading exam papers

6.1 The course coordinator will appoint one or more proof reader/s to ensure clarity of questions and instructions and the overall quality of presentation.

6.2 The officer responsible for proof reading should have expertise in document design, editing or publishing.

6.3 The proof reader reviews the paper/s to ensure:

a) Instructions are clear and easy to follow

b) Time and date of the exam are correct

c) Reading time is clearly stated

d) Each question and each part is on one page only (i.e. do not split across a page boundary)

e) Special items (e.g. tables, figures, appendices) specified are attached and accurately labelled

f) Figures, diagrams, formulae clearly legible

g) A profession level of presentation is achieved

h) Grammatical correctness

i) Pages are numbered and in sequence, ensuring that proper page breaks are used (i.e., Ctrl & Enter, not via multiple cursor entries)

j) Marks for each question and each part are shown clearly

k) Marks add up to the correct total

l) Marks are consistent with any relevant instructions

6.4 Where a course is delivered in more than one location (including campuses and partnerships outside Australia) the proof reader will ensure that those with delegated responsibility for delivery and assessment at each location have had the opportunity for input into the proofing process.

6.5 The proof reader must report any errors found in an exam paper to the course coordinator to arrange for the corrections to be actioned via the secure file transfer system.

6.6 When proof reading is complete, the exam paper, header sheet and cover sheet for each course are converted directly into a single PDF document to ensure a high image quality (papers must not be printed and scanned).

6.7 The proof reader will transfer the document/s via the secure file transfer system to the course coordinator, accompanied by a declaration that they have been proofed, which shall be retained by the school in an auditable manner. The format for file transfer should be PDF to retain formatting integrity. However, wherever reasonably possible an editable copy (MS Word, or other suitable format) should be accessible to facilitate an equitable assessment arrangement for students with a learning disability, where requested.

6.8 The course coordinator, reviewer, and proof reader may be the same person, provided they meet the eligibility criteria set out above.

Proof reader / staff with delegated authority to deliver and assess courses at campuses / partnerships outside Australia

Normally no later than the expiry of 60% of the teaching period

7 Final check of exam paper and marking scheme by course coordinator

7.1 Once the course coordinator receives the examination papers from the proof reader, a final check is completed.

7.2 The course coordinator will check to ensure:

•Figures, diagrams, formulae are clearly legible

•Professional-level presentation

•Pages are numbered and in sequence

•Marks add up to the correct total

•The marking scheme is complete and consistent with the examination paper

7.3 Where a course is delivered in more than one location (including campuses and partnerships outside Australia) the course coordinator will ensure that those with delegated responsibility for delivery and assessment at each location have had the opportunity to provide input into the final check and have confirmed the version control of the final paper.

7.4 The course coordinator is responsible for the final sign-off of exam papers and marking schemes. An auditable record of the satisfactory completion of proofing and final checking will be established and retained by the school.

7.5 Once this sign-off has been obtained the following processes are implemented:

a) Where the examination is timetabled by the Academic Registrar’s Group (Exams, Awards and Graduation Unit), exam header sheets and cover sheets are created using the Online Header Sheet and Cover Sheet Generator, available via the Exams – Staff information web page.

b) Where the examination timetable is not managed by the Academic Registrar’s Group (Melbourne), the delegated office responsible for timetabling will implement local procedures that meet the same standards of probity and integrity as those of the Exams, Awards and Graduations Unit.

Course coordinator / offering course coordinator









Course coordinator / delegated officers at all campuses / locations






Academic Registrar’s Group or the delegated office at locations outside Melbourne

No later than the expiry of 70% of the teaching period

8 Printing of examination paper

8.1 Printing of examination papers and creation of exam header sheets and coversheets:

a)Where the examination is timetabled by the Academic Registrar’s Group (Exams, Awards and Graduation Unit), final examination papers with the exam header sheet and coversheet are to be forwarded to RMIT Printing Services and the Exams, Awards and Graduations Unit by no later than 4 weeks prior to the scheduled date of the examination via the secure file transfer system.

b)Where the examination is not timetabled by the Academic Registrar’s Group (Melbourne), the delegated office responsible for coordinating the printing of the examination paper, header and coversheets will implement local procedures that meet the same standards of probity and integrity as those of the Exams, Awards and Graduations Unit

Course coordinator / delegate / Academic Registrar’s Group or the delegated office at locations outside Australia

For papers to be transferred globally = No later than the expiry of 70% of the teaching period

For papers to be used local to the print source = No later than the expiry of 80% of the teaching period

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